Seizing the gift horse: working across the university on information literacy

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Seizing the gift horse:

Working across the

university on Information



Davina Omar

Head of Academic Support

0208 231 2252


Katie McNamara


Marc Foster


Susan Mcglamery


Context of UWL

Development work on original Information Literacy policy


Digital capabilities vs Information Literacy

Connections forged

Future plans




The information literate person identifies knowledge gaps,

can find, appraise and make balanced judgements about


and curate and use it in an ethical and inclusive manner

to attain increased








“Librarians can only suitably

address and improve the quality

of the learning experience for

students if they are aware of the

factors that influence student


2015/16 academic year

536 staff hours

8,571 user hours

2016/17 academic year

594 staff hours

8,898 user hours




lesson we learnt

A close working relationship

with the planning department


MU30032E Academic Performance APSOFD001E BSc (Hons) Applied Sound Engineering with Foundation MU30032E Academic Performance BALVSP003E BA (Hons) Live Sound Production with Foundation Year MU30032E Academic Performance COMPOS003E BMus (Hons) Composition with Foundation Year

MU30032E Academic Performance ELMUPR003E

BA (Hons) Electronic Music Production with Foundation Year

MU30032E Academic Performance MUMIMA003E

BA (Hons) Music Mixing and Mastering with Foundation Year

MU30032E Academic Performance MUPERF003E BMus (Hons) Music Performance with Foundation Year MU30032E Academic Performance MUPERR001E BMus (Hons) Music Performance and Recording

MU30032E Academic Performance MUPERR006E

BMus (Hons) Music Performance and Recording with Foundation Year

MU30032E Academic Performance MUPMUM003E

BMus (Hons) Music Performance with Music Management with Foundation Year

MU30032E Academic Performance MUREPR003E

BA (Hons) Music Recording and Production with Foundation Year

MU30032E Academic Performance MUTSPC002E DipHE Music Technology Specialist



Senior level approval

Parity across courses

Teaching at all levels


573 academic staff (FTE)

8654 students (FTE)

3 sites

Widening participation university – 1


generation students

Career university

Broad span of courses

Very engaged student union

BAME attainment gap

58% over 21 years of age


Staff survey 2019

48% of staff use the library at least





“Is our information

literacy instruction

genuine, meaningful


“Students most commonly

fell short was in evaluation

of sources, often selecting

sources that were


“I wish there wasn’t so much

trial and error in finding sources.

You think you find a source that

is relevant and read half of it


UWL Library Services (2018) UWL’s


Every campus based students to have information literacy embedded in to their curriculum at

Levels 3, 4, 5 and 7.

All campus based students, who need to complete a dissertation, to be provided with

information literacy embedded in to their curriculum at level 5 or 6.

Research students offered an induction at the beginning of their research studies and follow

up guidance.

Academic staff offered 1-2-1 meetings to enhance their information literacy skills which will be

supplemented with regular communication about other opportunities to keep abreast in this


All support/professional staff in the university to have the opportunity to develop their

information literacy skills and be able to book 1-2-1 meetings with the Academic Support

Assistant librarians.


Not just a


Part way through

an academic


“It is easy to see the difference

between a student that studies at

the library and finds information

from databases and a student that

learns only from us”


Learning vs satisfaction

Intentions vs behaviour

Immediate vs longitudinal

Self report vs observation

Formative vs summative

Pre or Post


Live anonymous


“Asking them [students] to

report on what they learned

during the session and what


The pre meeting….

Pro-Vice Chancellor



Learning, Teaching

and Assessment


But what



2017/18 academic year

986 staff hours

66% percentage change

14,113 user hours




Role of the librarian in proactively

making this happen


Two projects happened reasonably


JISC Digital discovery tool


JISC Digital discovery tool working group members


Lead: Head of technology-Enhanced learning

Members of the team:

Student Services

IT Services

Graduate School

Learning and Organisational Development, HR

Library Services


Internal UWL Information Literacy and

Digital Capabilities working group


Lead: University Director, Learning Teaching and Pedagogic

Research (Lesley-Jane Eales-Reynolds)

Members of the team:

IT Services

Learning and Organisational Development, HR

Library Services


Theoretical debate of Information Literacy and Digital Capabilities


Fundamental question:

What did we mean by



Information literate learners

have the skills and tools to

obtain an effective grasp of the

subject, gaining confidence and

understanding. They contribute

to their own and others’

knowledge and understanding,

and develop the characteristics

of directed and

self-determined learners.


Information literate teachers are

highly aware of contemporary issues

and knowledge in their area of

expertise and therefore are better

able to develop challenging, skilled

and creative teaching. Their teaching

practice recognises the need for, and

supports, the explicit development of

information literacy in their students’



Information literate researchers

are more fully engaged with

current knowledge and so can

effectively recognise the

direction of future research and

how, and in what context, they

might make an impactful


In the workplace

The information literate person

has a greater ability to develop

contextual knowledge to fulfil a

range of roles in the workplace,

including informing and

supporting others, fulfilling key

aims, and developing strategy

(Cheuk, 2017; Forster, 2017).

As a citizen

Information literate citizens can

critically judge information and

its sources to make ethically

and socially-aware decisions




Semester 1: Personalised Learning module

Body in the Library game (week 1):

Designed to instruct students on Library basics

Searching Summon (week 2):

Assessment worth 10% of final grade

Searching legal databases (week 4):

Assessment worth 10% of final grade


Semester 2: Academic Performance module

Week 2: Eyewitness testimony

Week 3: Eyewitness testimony

Week 4: Police investigation

Week 8: Criminal Complaints Review Commission (CCRC)

Week 11: Role of the media and campaign / Group exercise

Week 12: Miscarriage of justice


Forecasting and Contemporary Culture Module

Asked by the lecturer to show the students WGSN

but wanted to avoid them treating WGSN as an

absolute authority on forecasting

Looked at the WGSN forecasting reports in class,

and discussed with the students an image in


Revalidation of nursing curricula

changing the ‘information literacy

culture’ of the course to focus on

the contextual use of information in

nursing practice.


Information literacy handbook

Embedding into the Academic

Quality process


Reference list

• Angell, K and Tewell, E. (2017) ‘Teaching and Un-Teaching Source Evaluation: Questioning authority in information literacy instruction’, Communications in Information Literacy, 11(1), pp. 95-121. doi:


• Baker, D. and Allden, A. (2017) Leading libraries. The view from above. Available at: (Accessed: 3 January 2019)

• Perry, H. B. (2017) ‘Information Literacy in the Sciences: Faculty perception of undergraduate student skill’, College & Research Libraries, 78(7), pp. 964-977. doi: 10.5860/crl.78.7.964

• Carbery, A. (2017) ‘Authentic information literacy in an era of post truth’, Lilac Conference 2017, Swansea, U.K., 10-12 April. Available at: 26 March 2019)

• Cheuk, B. (2017) ‘The ‘hidden’ value of information literacy in the workplace context: how to unlock and create value’, in Forster, M. (ed.) Information Literacy in the Workplace, London: Facet, pp.131- 148. • Coonan, E. et al. (2018) CILIP definition of information literacy. Available at: (Accessed: 4 June 2018)


• Forster, M. (2017) 'Information literacy and the personal dimension: team players, empowered clients and career development', in Forster, M. (ed.) Information literacy in the Workplace, London: Facet, pp.29-40.

• Harland, F., Stewart, G. and Bruce, C. (2017) 'Ensuring the academic library's relevance to

stakeholders: The role of the Library Director', The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 43(5), pp. 397-408.

• Henry, C.L., Vardeman, K.K. and Syma, C.K. (2012) ‘Reaching out: connecting students to their

personal librarian’, Reference Services Review, 40(3), pp. 396-407. doi: 10.1108/00907321211254661 • JISC (2018) Digital Capability report. Available at: 2ndApril 2019)

• Molteni, V.E. and Chan, E.k. (2015) ‘Student confidence/overconfidence in the research process’, The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 41, pp. 2-8. doi: 10.1016/j.acalib.2014.11.012

• UWL Library Services (2018) UWL’s Information Literacy Policy. Available at: vember_2018.pdf (Accessed: 30 January 2019)

• Walsh, A. (2009) ‘Information literacy assessment: Where do we start?’, Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 41(1), pp. 19–28. doi: 10.1177/0961000608099896


Davina Omar

Head of Academic

Support, UWL